Do you remember our Kinera TYR review? It’s been a while.
Kinera isn’t a new brand in the Chi-Fi market, and the veterans out there will certainly know the Kinera BD005, which were released in 2017.
I do not own that particular version, but I have the newer BD005 Pro in my hands, which should be an improved version of the older BD005, and after many hours of listening I can share my thoughts with you.
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Disclaimer: the Kinera BD005 Pro were sent by HifiGO for free in order to write a honest review.
At the time of the review, the BD005 Pro were sold for about around €40 on the official HifiGO website.
Configuration → Hybrid: 1 x DD (beryllium coated driver) + 1 BA
Sensitivity → 108 dB
Impedance → 16 Ohm
Frequency Response → 20 Hz – 20000 Hz
Cable → 1,2 m – Detachable – This version has a microphone – 0,78 mm 2PIN
Connector type → L-type silver plated 3.5mm jack connector
The packaging consists in the classic hexagon-shaped cardboard box we’re used to see when speaking about Kinera products.
- The Kinera BD005 Pro
- The detachable cable
- A set of 3 tips (although they’re not Final Audio tips like the ones that were included in Kinera TYR’s box)
- A round hard carry case
DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY
The BD005 are certainly among the most well designed IEMs.
The custom-like 3D printed shell shows a lot of attention to detail, and, at least to me, looks beautiful.
I would have preferred having the whole shell painted like the faceplate, which is blue and has some silver fragments inside, but this is just a minor detail and is highly subjective.
There is a pressure vent on the side which is located near to the 2PIN female connector on the shell. The silver nozzle sports a nozzle lip and I doubt you’ll ever see your tips popping off from it considering it isn’t thin at all.
I would also like to point out that Kinera has confirmed that this is a Beryllium coated driver IEM and does not sport a pure beryllium driver (it’s obvious that it would be too much pretending them to sell us a product with a pure beryllium driver, which is already an expensive component during the production phase).
The cable is actually pretty good for being a stock cable, moreover if we consider the price of the BD005.
It is indeed better than any other stock cable from KZ, CCA and similar brands, but misses a chin slider. The ear-hooks are pretty comfortable too and do not feel rigid to the touch.
My version came with a remote control and microphone on the cable.
I think they’re very comfortable and this thanks to the 3D printed shell with which Kinera was able to design these based on the various parts and crucial grip points of the ears. Plus, they’re also lightweight as the 3D printed shells are not metallic and this particular choice make them lighter.
Isolation is average.
How do these sound?
This is the real reason you’re reading this review (I guess).
[Personal preference: I listen to almost every genre, even though my main preference goes to EDM subgenres. I always like a bit more energy on the bass and on the highs, leading to a personal preference for Y-shaped sound signatures, but if I have to choose, I’d prefer having many different IEMs with various signatures, in order to choose a particular one of them when I want to listen to a specific genre. I love switching between my IEMs so it’s even better if they’re very different from each others.]
DAC: Topping E30
AMP: Topping L30
Mobile phones: Poco F2 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Portable DAPs: Benjie S8/AGPTEK M30B
Other sources: Presonus AudioBox iONE, Cooler Master GS750
HOW DO THEY SOUND?
Do they need an amp?
Their high sensitivity and low impedance make them sound good even if they’re driven by a smartphone. They gain some bass consistency with amping though.
Sound signature: the Kinera BD005 Pro have a V-shaped sound signature.
Lows: sub-bass extends well but cannot provide a real rumble. Bass is emphasized but fairly controlled, and although it misses some speed and punch in some occasions, it is suitable for the majority of genres.
One thing I’ve noticed about BD005 Pro’s bass is that it doesn’t really sound natural, and this makes me miss other IEMs in their price range in terms of bass accuracy, but when it comes to the quantity and body of the bass itself, the BD005 behave very well with realistic notes weight.
The last thing about the low-end that needs to be pointed out is that the BD005 Pro aren’t made for bassheads: if you’re looking for a more “bass-oriented” IEM, search elsewhere, because even if the bass is more elevated than the midrange, it sounds quite neutral when hearing the whole presentation.
Mids: the lower midrange needs a bit more body, with male vocals missing some warmth and depth.
Instruments sound well defined and reproduced although many of them may sound unnatural in some occasions. They are detailed and well articulated, and even though this is not the best midrange I’ve heard in this price range, the BD005 Pro can really do great things when it comes to separation.
The upper midrange has a touch of emphasis but it doesn’t become shouty. Female voices don’t get sibilant (apart from certain cases/tracks) but the lack of warmth doesn’t make them shine in terms of naturalness and body. Summing up, the midrange has a slightly artificial and typical BA sound, which I personally don’t like.
Highs: lower treble is emphasized and sometimes it’s really “too much”, moreover if we increase the volume. Upper treble rolls-off quickly around 8-9kHz if my hearing does not trick me, but there are more details than expected, which are even more noticeable and enjoyable if volume does not get too high.
The don’t sound as open as other IEMs in this price range, but they’re far from sounding closed considering there’s a good amount of air and space between every sound.
The main reason these can become fatiguing, so, is the lower treble focus that becomes particularly annoying at medium to high volumes.
The soundstage is particularly ample, with good depth and width and average height. Imaging and separation are above average for this price and although there are many multi-driver IEMs these do very well for being a 2 drivers hybrid set. I think that the technical capability of the BD005 Pro is what makes them attractive.
Kinera BD005 Pro vs Moondrop SSR
The BD005 Pro and the Moondrop SSR are tuned differently: the BD005 Pro are V-shaped while the SSR are more neutral until we reach the upper midrange and treble, which are boosted.
The BD005 Pro have a more pronounced low-end and a thicker bass, but SSR’s bass is faster.
The midrange is more recessed on the BD005 Pro and sounds more natural on the SSR with more forward instruments and better resolution, although instrument separation seems a tad better on the BD005 Pro.
Vocals are more natural on the SSR but female ones can become shouty on the latter and male ones don’t have the proper warmth and depth on both.
Highs are more extended on the SSR which also feel more open and brighter, although the BD005 Pro have a similar level of detail.
Soundstage is wider and deeper on the BD005 whereas imaging is on par with a slight advantage for the BD005.
Both sound well if driven by a simple smartphone but it seems like the SSR benefit more from amping, even though they’re also more prone to distort if overamplified.
Both are well built and look great, and although the SSR can be considered ahead in terms of build quality, it’s very hard to compare them as the BD005 Pro’s 3D printed shell is very solid.
SSR cable is better but BD005 Pro fitting and isolation are superior, even though the SSR may be the best choice for people with smaller ears.
If I had both in front of me, I would pick the SSR over the BD005 Pro because of their more natural midrange and their more extended upper-end, even if the BD005 Pro are ahead in terms of staging and layering, but this is obviously based on my personal experience with both sets.
Kinera BD005 Pro vs Blon BL-05
I think the key difference between the two is the tonality: the BL-05 are tonally more balanced and accurate than the BD005 Pro.
The BD005 Pro are generally warmer, but BL-05 sound richer, moreover in male vocals. Female vocals tend to become shouty more often on the BL-05 than on the BD005 Pro, which also have less forward vocals. Instruments are more on the forefront on the BL-05 while they sound more distant on the BD005 Pro, this due to their more recessed midrange.
Lower treble is more emphasized on the BD005 Pro even though they are more extended and sparkling on the BL-05, which also feel more open.
Soundstage is deeper on the BD005 Pro, with comparable height and width, and they also have better imaging. Instrument separation is better on the BL-05, thanks to their more articulated and less recessed midrange.
Both are good if driven by a simple smartphone but the BL-05 benefit more from amping.
The BL-05 win in build quality, but BD005 Pro’s shell can provide better fitting and isolation, and they also come with a better stock cable.
Picking one from these two would be hard for me, as the BD005 Pro are technically superior whilst BL-05 are more accurate in terms of tonality, but if I really had to pick one I’d pick the BL-05 because of their more energetic vocals and their more realistic bass.
I had the chance to review the Kinera TYR in the past, and even though they were a good pair of earphones, they weren’t really accurate tonality-wise.
The BD005 Pro are way better in this department but still not perfect: they have surprised me with their above average soundstage, imaging, and shell design, but there’s still a bit of effort needed to refine the tuning in order to make them slightly more natural and realistic.
For now, I really appreciate the BD005 Pro, and although they won’t become my daily driver anytime soon, they’re definitely something to recommend because of their great technical performance and overall build quality.